|Chapter Title||THE FLIGHT|
|Newspaper Title||The Macleay Chronicle (Kempsey, NSW : 1899 - 1952)|
|Trove Title||The Last of the Pirates; Or Doom Driven. A Romance of the End of Ocean Outlawry|
The Last of the Pirates;
OR. 3DOOBE URIVHlff, .'.':.- ' ? » — - — ? .-??? A. Romance of the End of Ocean Outlawry-*
? * — - By Col. Prentiss Ingraham, Author of ' Merle the Mutineer,' &c, &c.
? ? ^ CHAPTER L (Continued). THE FLIGHT.
Luline listened attentively to the old man's story. She had heard every word, and it seemed to run into her heart like red-hot steel. She had wondered at many things, and could
not understand them. Yet she had never held suspicion against her husband. She had/ound the kit of poor Lilla upon the schooner. There were letters in it, and papers, but she understood Spanish but imperfectly then, so could not understand all that they told, though it was the diary of the poor girl. Now, as plain as daylight, the truth was revealed to her. She looked like one who had been struck a stunning blow in the head. She rose, staggered, but recovering herself, walked away. She did not notice the old Cuban or his son. It seemed to her that she had dreamed what she had heard. Straight to her husband's room she went, and she knew that he had left his keys — something he had never done before. She opened his desk, and what she saw confirmed her fears. She told all to Priscilla. Then she packed up that which was her own, and writing the letter which the reader has read, left it for her husband upon his return. Away from the hatefnl place, as now it -was to her, they were driven — Luline, Mam' Priscilla, and the little baby boy, for he was not yet two years old. Reaching the town, they put up at an hotel for the night, and the next day took passage upon a vessel bound to New Orleans. Where she was going, Luline knew not CHAPTER LI. WRECKED. Upon, arriving in New Orleans, Luline, the buccaneer's wife, sought to find a hiding-place. She knew not where to go — what to do. But in walking about the city, with Priscilla carrying her child, she came upon a little vine-covered cottage that looked very inviting. It was in the outskirts of the city, was a snug little home, with flower and vegetable garden, and a most cosy retreat, in fact. Into it she went, and a kindly-faced matron met her. Yes, .the place was to rent, as she lived there all alone, and a married daughter in the North, whose health was poor, wished her to come on and live with her. 1 If I could get the right parties,' the woman added, ' I would let my cow, chickens, and old horse and chaise all go with the place.' The price was asked, and it was most reasonable. ' I will take it,' said Luline. ' For three years I wish to let it, ma'am.' 1 I will take it for that time.' The money was paid, and two days after Luline said, sadly : ? Mam' Priscilla, we have a home.' 1 Yes, missy.' ? And enough over to support us for half a. year. Then, if I get no ' work, I have jewels that will last as long as we have this place for, as they will bring a good price.' And in that little home the bucca neer's wife and good old Priscilla passed the months away, both wrapped up in the little boy that was growing , so fast and so handsome. Luline had taken her own name once more, and the few neighbours near her knew her as Mrs. Leslie. The name of her boy she had changed from Basila to Randolph Leslie, after the man whose love she had refused to become the wife of a pirate. At last 4. he three years passed away, and the owner came to claim it, or gel her rent for* three years more. Poor Luline had not enough left of her jewels to raise fifty dollars. Her health was wrecked, and she felt that she could not last long, so she said : ' Mam' Priscilla, we will go home.' Priscilla jumped with joy. ? Home, missy ! To de poor ole plantasbun home'?' ' Yes, for I will not live very long, Mam' Priscilla, and my parents will not turn their back upon their dying child. Well, pack up, Mam' Priscilla, and we will leave on the next packet ship that sails for Baltimore, for I have money enough to take us home, I think.' But she had not, when all was paid up, and so they took passage on a schooner bound to Baltimore. The accommodation was not of the best, but they were going home, and ' Luline seemed almost happy. That night a storm arose, and so violent was it that the schooner laboured fearfully and strung a leak. At last they had to take to the boats, and one was to bear the poor invalid, her little boy, and Priscilla. ,. -They were placed in ;it, and the skipper and the two men who were to go with them in^that boat went back for more things to make them as comfortable as possible. Then came a mighty wave and snapped the line, the boat was adrift, and in the darkness it was not seen again by the captain and bis crew.
But the waves did not sink it, and it went drifting on its way, while the food gave out, all but what the faithful negress saved for the little boy, and one night, as peacefully as though falling asleep, Luline, the buccaneer's wife, passed across the River of Death. Two days after the boat was sighted, as told in the first chapters of this story, and a strange .destiny guided it across the path of Basil the Buccaneer. CHAPTER LI1. THE NEMESIS. When Rodney Randolph knew just who was the man who had so deceived him, he made up his mind that he would be avenged upon him. True, Basil Barton had saved his life, but the debt was cancelled. Possessing ample means, he ordered a schooner built, and upon the same model of the vessel of the buccaneer, for he went to builders of that craft and told them just what he wanted. The schooner was armed thoroughly, when finished, and Government put her in commission, making Rodney Randolph her commander with the rank of captain. The schooner Rodney Randolph had named the Nemesis, and in her he meant to hunt down Basil the Buccaneer. About the seas cruised the Nemesis, her stern, sad-faced commander at tending to all duties developing upon him, yet ever with the determination to find Basil the Buccaneer. And Iron) sea to sea went the desperate pirate, robbing, killing, and escaping all vessels that attempted his capture. Pirate though he was, he still loved Luline, and he loved his child -more, and he longed to find them. It was after returning to his vessel, and again putting to sea, following his visit to Luline's home, that Basil the BuccanteY' sighted the drilling boat which contained the dead bodies of his wife and Priscilla, and bis little boy still alive. What followed that discovery the reader already knows, for he beheld the bodies buried at night in the sea, while, at the command of their chief, the pirate crew stood with uncovered heads. He had seen his little boy lie at the point of death with a raging fever, and how, in his desire to save the life of the child, Basil Baiton dared go back to the scenes of his boyhood, and, in disguise, call upon his brother — that brother whose life he had blasted — and beseech him to save his little son. , The reader has seen the result of Dr. Loyd Barton's visit to the schooner of his buccaneer brother and his return, and how the outlaw craft set sail once more. Filled with his good resolves, Basil Barton meant to give up piracy for ever, and seek a home in another land for his boy and himself. But. danger dogged his wake, and he found that his worst foe was upon his track, for the Nemesis was his pursuei. Anxious to escape, lie did all in his power to do, except to fire upon his pursuer ; but this he would not do, for he had hauled down the black flag with the coming of his son on board his vessel. He believed that he could escape with his child. If not, they could perish together. With this resolve, as has been seen, and with the wretched officer, Marco Madrid, in chains in the cabin, the schooner was driven on shore, and the shock brought down her masts and rigging, killing several of her crew, while boarding waves swept the remainder into the sea. Half an hour after the wrecked schooner was boarded by . the boats from the Nemesis. But though Marco Madrid, the mutineer pirate, was found in the cabin, and claimed to be a prisoner of the buccaneer chief,, he whom Rodney Randolph sought was not there. CHAPTER LIII. RETRl BUTION. Believing the story of Marco Madrid, Captain Rodney Randolph determined to go with him, as he had asked, to the home of the outlaw chief on the coast ol Cuba. He felt, as Marco Madrid said, that if he escaped with his life in the wreck he would, having no vessel or crew, go to his home, where no one knew him as a pirate. .Marco Madrid did not know, however, that the buccaneer had given up his home in Cuba after the flight of Luline. He supposed that he still held it, and the finding of Luline, her boy, and the negress he could not com prehend, as he still supposed, they were in Cuba. He made known to Rodney Ran dolph the finding of the boat at sea and whom it contained, adding: 1 I guess the senora had been out in the boat with the negress and child, and been driven to sea by a storm.' ? His wife, you said ?' a6ked Rodney
Randolph, as the two sat in the cabin of the wreck awaiting for the day to break. J Yes, senior.1 ? ?Her name?1 . ' . .? , ? He called her the Senora Luline.' Captain Randolph groaned ; but he shut his leUh hard together for a moment; and then asked -: ' 'And a negress, you say, was in the boat?' 'Yes, Senor Captain. They called her. Priscilla, senor.' 1 And the boy— how old was he ?').' '. ' About five, perhaps younger ;' answered; the pirate. ? , . ; 'Did you hear the name of the little boy?' and Rodney Randolph tried hard to be calm. . ' ,'?' I Well, senor, 1 was watching the little fellow, while his father was on deck, and he said in his delirium : ' ' Mam' 'Silla, Randolph awful hungry,' so I suppose his name was Randolph, and, by the way, senor, that is your name.' The pirate fairly started as he caught sight of the face of the American' captain. It was writhing, as though the man was in mortal agony. Then, without a word more, he left the cabin and went on deck. ' Yes, poor Luline it was in that boat, and old Priscilla; and they were buried in the sea. If her boy lives, and I can find him, I will care for him for Luline's sake. But. his father must hang I' Then the sorrowing man returned to the cabin, and, leaving him there, Madrid went on deck. As he got there, lost in thought, his eyes fell upon an object that glittered upon the floor. He stepped forward and picked it UP ' Great Heaven ! It is my own miniature — one I gave Luline when last I left home 1' It was of heavy gold, and in the shape of 'a book, and a chain was attached to it, the clasp of which was broken. ' 1 placed in this hidden cavity a note I hoped she would End. Ha, she, never found it !' and he opened the locket as he spoke by touching a spring. ' Yes, this is not what I wrote, for it is her writing.' He took the piece of paper, which had been closely folded, so as to fit in the space, and read it with face flushing and paling by turns. Closely written, it was the story of her unhappy life up to her setting sail for home. It was addressed to him, and it stated that the locket was placed about her little boy's neck,- and in case of her death was to be returned to him, and in it she beseeched Rodney Randolph to look after her child. The tears stood in the stern eyes of the strong man as he read this message' from the dead. * It has dropped from the boy's neck and escaped observation. Luline, I will do as you ask me ; for all the pain you have given me, I forgive you.1 He placed the locket carefully away and went on deck, and as the day had dawned, be saw the situation of the wreck. It would not last long where it lay,- in a storm from the sea ; and glancing shoreward, he saw a score of bodies strewing the beach. Going ashore in his boat, he found a man crouching under the shelter of a bank, and holding in his arms a small child. Instantly Rodney Ran dolph was by his side. *~ But the man was not, as he ex pected, Basil the Buccaneer, but a seaman of the pirate schooner, who said that the boy had dashed against him in the sea, and, grasping him, he had brought him ashore. The buccaneer he had not seen, but as the little boy was alone, he supposed he had been drowned, for otherwise he would never have deserted his child. The man's ' leg was broken, and yet, thus crippled, he bad saved himself and the little boy. Rodney Randolph took the boy in his arms, and the little fellow, wan from his severe illness, looked up into his face, and said softly : ' Take me to mamma.' I 1 will take you to my home, my little boy, for you are guiltless;' and though Rodney Randolph spoke In a firm voice, he was all-in a tremor, for in his arms he held the child of she who had been Luline Leslie. Then, turning to the pirate, he said: ' My man, for saving this child's life, I will give you your freedom as soon as you are able to leave my vessel. Men, carry him on board the schooner, and have the surgeon take the best care of him.' The order was obeyed, and giving the little boy to a seaman to also carry on board the schooner, and place in the surgeon's care, Rodney Randolph began his search among the dead for the outlaw chief. But though many of the pirates were found, not one was Basil the Buccaneer. When the booty had been taken from the wreck and placed on board the vessel-of-war,- the latter headed for the coast of Cuba, and under the guidance of Marco Madrid, the home of Basil the Buccaneer was visited. But there it was learned that he had not been there for years, and the pirate officer' having been betrayed by the wounded man who had saved the life of the little boy, Marco Madrid was quickly swung up to the yard arm, thus justly expiating his crimes. Having driven Basil the Buccaneer to his destruction — for Rodney Ran dolph felt sure that he had been lost — he returned to Baltimore and placed his little namesake in the hands of his grandparents, who would bring him up in ignorance of his mother's sad fate and his father's infamy.
CHAPTER L1V. - : mivEM to ^-oom; . When Basjl the Buccaneer stood awaiting the 'shbbfc of his vessel driving upon the shore, :he held tightly clasped in his arms his little boy. The shock came, the waters: flashed over the .wreck, sweeping^thjsfleck, and the buccaneer was hurled against the wreckage with TBUch;irrorce*ihat ntomenUrir|r'4'itiittpnl^1inV and ie rclinquiBbedtis bold upon the child. In an iinstart- he Segifipied liis, strength alia consciousness, but the boy was gonfe Heitaouted foriiim, swam around in the wild waters, looking for him in the darkness, and then, in despair, was driven ashore. Others sunk in the waves. about him, but he, weighted down (hough he was with gold and jewels, reached the shore. Believing his child dead, fearing that the boats would land and pursue rum, he ran with all speed away from the scene, for he meant not to die upon the gallows .or yard arm if in his power to save himself. 'Several days after, worn out, half starved, and wretched, he reached a small hamlet, and there he chartered a small fishing-smack to take him to the nearest seaport. ?. Wiih oo vessel, his crew gone, and, as he believed, his child dead, he decided to no longer be a wanderer, but to seek a home in which to pass the remainder of his days. He had vast wealth about him, and lured on by a power be could not resist, he at last found himself near the home of Luline. He had allowed his hair and beard to grow, and, thus disguised, he feared not recognition from those who had barely seen him in the 'past, for he knew that Rodney Randolph had moved away, as had also the parents of Luline. The Leslie plantation was for sale, and he bought it all furnished as it was. He purchased a few slaves, and there, with his sins upon him, settled down to live the life of an exile. Several years passed away, and in the new owner of the planta tion no one suspected the person of Basil the Buccaneer. One day he was strolling along the shore when be saw a vessel heading' inshore, and, watching it, he saw it drop anchor in the little harbour of Randolph Range. He hastened back to his house and sent a faithful servant to inquire what the mission of the craft was in those quiet waters. Just at sunset the man returned and made his report to the effect that Captain Rodney Randolph had bought back his old home, and as his sister, Miss Rate, bad regained her mind, they had come there to live the rest of their days, and the vessel had brought their furniture and servants. ' Daniel, is my little sloop ready to sail ?' he asked of the negro ; for Basil the Buccaneer always kept a little vessel at anchor off the shore of his home, with provisions on board, and all ready to depart at a moment's notice, and yet, since his coming, the craft had never left her anchorage. 'Yes, massa, we keeps her always ready,' answered Daniel. ' Well, get all the people on board, with fresh water and provisions, for I shall start on a cruise to-night.' Daniel obeyed, and two hours after a sloop of thirty tons stood away from the shore, and the pirate's home, all furnished as it was, was left to solitude and decay, for from that night the little craft was never heard of again, and the fate of Basil the Buccaneer was enshrouded in a mystery never to be solved. The End.